Authenticity In Your Business
Back To The Basics
H.ello ladies! I'm Ariana, the owner of Inspired by Ari. I'm starting to blog again and hoping that each of you will join me for this journey. This post is simply serving as an introduction to what is in store for this NEW space that I've created. I wanted to make sure that all of my ideas were well thought out and put together first before launching anything. This has been a dream of mine for a long time. It took me years to build it up. I put a pause on my blog because at times I was so unmotivated. But with all of the things going on in the world today, I said that I would "stop playing small" for the remainder of 2020.
My purpose is to create a website that is inspirational and where we as women can all grow and elevate together. We will do so by networking, collaborating, supporting, mentoring and helping each other. So much magic can be created by uplifting someone else. You never know who could benefit from hearing your story or testimony. From fitness to healthy foods, hair care or makeup, business and branding, we will be talking about it all right here on the site. I want this to be a movement that makes so many women live a confident and fearless life. Why wouldn't you want to level up?
My Online Store is currently under construction, but will be back stocked again with some goodies that I hope you will love. Until then, I'll be posting on the regular and remodeling the site. What exactly is Inspired By Ari you might ask? It is an online sisterhood community empowering women to be great. I've overcome so many things by simply using my faith and encouragement from others, so why not share some of it with you here on my site? We only welcome positive vibes and good energy! My prayer is that my vision comes to the light. Thank you so much for coming to see what I've been so hyped about. Stay tuned to see what I'll be up to next. Have a great week ahead. XoXo, Ari
Confidence Is Key
I guess it's safe to say "happy Fall y'all." A new season is upon us which means new goals, a new outlook and a new mindset. I have so many new things I would like to reinvent, recreate and reintroduce. At the top of my to-do-list is confidence. It is very imperative and important to have confidence in yourself.
I have set a goal for taking my business to the next level. My blog, online store, wardrobe styling services and natural hair inspiration is vital for me and my branding. I really want to express to you all that owning a small business is very hard! It takes time, consistency, investments, sacrifices and patience. I love what I do! I can honestly say I am so happy with life and my growth right now. My plate is quite full with my new job, being a church youth advisor, my small business and being a mother but I wouldn't have it any other way. With God, all things are possible.
I have a lot of things that I wish to accomplish. With that list including personal, business and career goals. Adding also finally finish obtaining my Master's degree. With a smile on my face, I wake up daily knowing my purpose,calling and passion will all make room for me. One thing I won't ever lose is my faith. My post for this weekend is simple, yet it speaks volumes. I love myself,I believe in myself and am enjoying evolving and witnessing my growth.
Not to go too deep, but just a short mention prayer really does change things. It allows you to see the good in every situation in life. I had to get rid of a few toxic things and people over this past year. Other than that, my confidence tells me everything is working out for my good and in my favor. I would, as always, like to say thank you to my readers and customers. Without your support I am nothing. As humble as can be, I finally have arrived in my womanhood. With less than 3 more months left in 2016, I look forward to whatever comes my way. Have a blessed weekend. And again remember, confidence is key.
Why Do I Stay Active?
Why do I stay active? I am now 35 years old. The older I get, the more I realize that being healthy is a must. It started with what I ate & changing my diet. I also make sure I get plenty of rest. I have been exercising consistently for years, but never incorporated those other areas that needed to be worked on. Finding balance & making time for yourself is a must as well.
I read a lot of good books, stay busy as a single mother, spend more time doing all the little things I love to do/hobbies & try to see the good in every situation. To sum it up, live life to the fullest. I enjoy taking my evening walks because not only does it tone my muscles, it is a good stress reliever too!
Just Do It
I'm so proud of myself for losing 30 pounds, finally. I started at about 250 pounds. And yes it has been a real struggle. Over the past few years, I gained so much weight. It wasn't until a year ago that I actually started taking my weight & health seriously. I am now down to 220 pounds, yay me!
I try to do at least 50-100 squats a day, I walk(around my block twice), I exercise at home & simply watch or cut back on what I eat. It was really hard to keep up the exercising but I stopped being lazy with it. Also I never eat past 10 Pm. Instead of using margarine when I cook, sometimes I use olive oil instead. I used to have to always cook with lots & lots of salt. That is no longer & I use my seasonings in proportion & also read up on /research their ingredients.
I cook fresh raw vegetables instead of canned or frozen. I love bread but I cut back on it too & am trying to eat more wheat bread. Most mornings I have a light breakfast like fresh fruit or oatmeal, which is good in fiber & helps to lower cholesterol. I try to pick up as many low fat & low sodium items as I can when I grocery shop. I eat lots of baked food instead of fried food, love seafood especially fish, no ground beef, no steak, & no pork. Lunch is usually light as well. For snacks I may eat peanuts, almonds, cashews, fruit or a small salad.
The key, for me, was to cut back on what I was eating & not just how many times I eat. I have replaced ground beef & ham all together. I have replaced it with turkey/ground turkey. And lastly, of course, plenty of bottled water. Sometimes I drop in a Crystal light packet & other times just drop in a few drops of lemon juice.
I haven't always been comfortable with telling other people about my journey or how much I weigh, as most people are. Of course I want to share my weight loss journey with others now because my tips could just help someone else. Our bodies are all made different so make sure you check with your primary or family physician before changing anything about your daily routine or diet. I would also like to share I lost those 30 pounds without any diet pills or supplements like shakes.
I do take multi vitamins which are an iron pill a day & B12 drops for an energy boost. I am now body conscious & am addicted to wearing workout/fitness gear. I have shopped for so much spandex, Nike & Addidas gear, & anything else with stretch in it! And can't wait to wear it this Summer! I struggled with finding clothes that fit me right when I gained all that weight. I'm so glad I changed my diet & am now eating healthier.
Denim On Denim
I've always said that "style has no rules." I feel those words are totally true. Season after season & year after year, we set new guidelines for what trends are in. And seems as if a lot of people start to follow them. Which is why I'm such a "vintage soul." I love vintage clothes & pieces, even furniture/home decor. It will always be classic & timeless. I'm more of an eclectic mixed with retro, most of the time. Truth is, what styles we wear now are only being repeated. Denim in whatever shade or wash goes together if paired with confidence. Whether dark on top & light on the bottom, or vice versa, it's all denim! Matter of fact, I own so many Jean jackets & tops. I love to mix & match my wardrobe. I didn't really like the "denim on denim" look at first, but it has really grown on me now. The outfit pictured here is a light denim top paired with a pair of dark faded jeans, both from JC Penney.
Spring Nail Polish Colors
Spring is here! And most of us ladies are frequenting the Nail Shop more often now that the warm weather is in the air. Whether you like getting your nails & toe nails done by a professional or you diy at home, there are several nail polish colors to choose from for this season. Some favorites are the bright loud colors. Others may like the neutrals or dark colors.
I try to select something different every time. Sometimes we look at a polish & think to ourselves that it won't look right or be cute. The only way to know if you like it is to try it. Recently I picked a dark gray color. I fell in love as soon as my nail tech was done. I don't care for acrylic or gel on my nails anymore, but I used to love it. I mean I really couldn't live without either.
Once I removed & soaked off my acrylic in January of this year, I finally got a chance to see just how much money I could save. There is a new product of gel nail polishes out now on the market & I've tried it before. It lasts a long time! Sometimes in between Nail Shop visits, I will even do my own mani & pedi at home. Now my pick is a plain old manicure on my natural nails & an occasional pedicure here or there. I don't like designs or stones either. Whatever you like or choose to do make it fun & creative.
My Top 5 Tips For Thrifting
Thrifting can be both fun & rewarding. Many people thrift for different reasons. You can find several items including clothes, shoes, furniture & accessories. I enjoy finding name brand pieces at a very low reduced price. It's a favorite past time for some because they learned when they were younger what treasures actually are in "thrift stores."
Here are a few tips for thrifters & new comers:
1. Always try the items on. The clothing size in the tag may not reflect its true size. Make sure to wear socks or stockings when trying on shoes.
2. Look for stains, holes or missing things like buttons or zippers.
3. Ask what discounts or sales are going on for that day/week. Most stores have color coded tags & have special discounts.
4. Wash or dry clean your items before wearing. Make sure you read washing instructions first.
5. Have fun & mix your items. Sometimes I wear a whole outfit that has been thrifted & nobody can tell. But, also I wear just 1 or 2 thrifted pieces & pair them with some of my modern things.
Bad Hair Day Ideas
We all have those bad hair days, some more than others. Truth is, since I've been natural, I learned how to embrace those type of days. Whether I wear an afro, put it in a puff, or if it's in a protective style I just do it! I keep several things & ideas on hand. Headbands, rubber ponytail holders, scarves, beenies & of course hats. Spring is approaching & with it comes the Spring like weather. Ladies, we all should have at least one or two go-to-hairstyles. Especially for those days it may rain or when we have some running around to do. Those who work out at the gym or exercise in the comfort of your own home, can pretty much benefit from simply doing a wash and go, sew in or braids.
Whether your hair has decided to cooperate or not don't stress over it. I always say my hair doesn't make me, I make my hair! The choices I make for my hair depend on not being so time consuming. I like something that is quick & manageable. Bad hair days are a way to let your hair rest & relax.
Big Chop VS. Transitioning
Some ladies choose to big chop. Some ladies choose to transition. Whatever choice you make, please understand that patience is the key to having healthy natural hair. Keep your ends trimmed often by a professional or diy at home, like myself. The healthier your ends are, the healthier your hair will be. When buying products, you need to understand exactly what the product is designed for & how to use it. Know that everybody's hair is totally different. Your hair wont grow as fast or at the same pace as some others. Your hair's texture won't be the same as others. We are all different! All of our hair is different from each other!
Did you know what you eat & drink could determine how healthy your hair is or isn't? It's true! Eating healthy & drinking plenty of water will help promote healthy hair. Lots of fruit, vegetables, protein, citrus, seafood, lean meat & fiber in your diet will enhance your roots.
Remember to deep condition at least once a month. Make sure to find & use the natural hair products that are right for you. Different products do different things. Use less heat so that it won't damage your hair. Remember not to use updo's or protective styles that cause too much tension to your hair or edges.
Sometimes I see a pretty, fly & dope big chop. I get so inspired as to why one may choose to big chop. It makes you feel so stress free when you first get a new haircut. However, I didnt big chop. My last relaxer/perm was given to me 3 years ago. I made the decision myself to go natural. My hair is chemical & care free. It is really long & thick. I maintain my own hair at home by washing & conditioning. But occasionally I do visit the salon for a good & professional deep condition & trim. Whatever decision you make by choosing to go natural make sure you're confident in yourself. Have faith & courage. Be you, be bold, be beautiful, be fearless & be natural. I don't just promote natural hair. I don't bash or throw shade on relaxers or perms. I promote & support any & all healthy hair.
The Do.s & Dont's For Social Media
As we all know, this is the start of a brand new year. There are no rules or regulations for social media. In fact, most of the time almost "anything goes." Your image is what sells, be it a good or bad one so keep that in mind. Sometimes, however we as business owners should take notice that the language, content & activity that we publish to social media speaks for our brand. It stands for who we are as entrepreneurs. I love everything dealing with hair, fashion & makeup. I'm a girly girl. I try different things. I'm a confident woman & love having fun with friends. I know different types of people. And I accept different types of people as well. But, at the end of the day I am the only one responsible for my business & brand. I try my best to reach out for opportunities & to make connections.
Do present yourself as professional as possible. Do stick to your niche or what ever area your expertise is in. Don't offend others who have more experience than you do. Don't over do it. Do research, consult & network as much as possible. I have a feeling that more & more people are looking towards some type of entrepreneurial journey this year. And that's a good thing! Don't be afraid to ask others for help. Do remain flexible so that you can expand.
It is imperative that we encourage each other as much as possible. If you are one of the many self owned businesses out there, cheer on those who are just beginning. I started my business 3 years ago. And I find myself getting better & better every year. And I owe it all to learning from others & never being afraid to ask questions. I don't consider myself as an expert, but I am asked often for advice or referrals.
To make a long story short, it is possible for us all to be "winning" , successful & relevant. But the only way to do that is to network & support each other. Pass on as much knowledge & wisdom as you see fit. Gain as much knowledge & wisdom as you possibly can. Know what you're in for because owning your own business is not easy at all. But with faith & keeping yourself humble you can do it. These are just a few things to consider when starting up your business or trying to maintain your business. Wishing you a productive week ahead!!!
Fall Fashion & Style
Fall may be a favorite season for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Football, leaves falling & changing colors, cooler weather & of course fall fashion. It's the start of layering, sweaters, cardigans, kimonos, longer sleeves, boots & denim jackets. Blazers get so much play around this time of year. Living in the South we don't see much of a big change just yet, but we know it'll be here soon. Here is style inspiration for you to transition from Summer to Fall. Always keep your key pieces like tanks & camisoles handy. And wearing white after Labor Day is not a rule any longer. If you like it wear it! Your style is your confidence. Many people express themselves through what they wear & how they dress. By the calendar, Fall is exactly 1 week away. I hope you're prepared. If not there are sales going on almost everywhere so grab you some Fall Fashion & get ready.
Caring for your natural hair
Shea Moisture products always leave my hair manageable & soft. This is a great line of products for those with natural hair. I've been using these products for a while now & I love them all. When I'm not wearing my usual sew ins, I wash my hair weekly with their Curl & Shine Shampoo & Curl & Shine Conditioner. If I were to do a twist out style on towel dry hair I section off my hair, twist it using any leave in conditioner, extra virgin olive oil & Eco styler gel. You can do the same to blown out hair too. I wear the same style at least a week before changing it up. That gives it a chance to stretch & get bigger so you can make the most of it. I've been completely all natural for almost 3 years. And I'm enjoying my hair journey! These products work very well for my hair type.
Welcome to my blog. My hobbies are reading, cooking, thrifting, crafting and traveling . I try my best to keep my entries updated. Hope you enjoy!